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MCD401 Camera basics, principles and practices Assignment No 01 Spring 2019 Solution & Discussion

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MCD401 Assignment Solution Idea

For videographers, a live event can be an exhilarating experience that pushes you outside of your creative comfort bubble… but if you’re not careful, a seemingly insignificant technical error can ruin the entire video.

  1. Pick a Style

Before you shoot a live stage event, do some research into what you want the look and feel of your video to be like.

Mixed Shoot

Ideal for: Plays, Concerts, Award Shows


Most modern live events consist of a mixture of tripods, shoulder rigs, cranes, and sliders. These events can become incredibly complicated to edit in post (or direct live). But when done well, a mixed-camera shoot can bring a lot of life to an otherwise boring event.


Cinematic Highlight Video


Ideal for: Weddings, Festivals, Expos

Sometimes your client will only want a “highlight reel” of the live event and not the entire event itself. This is your opportunity as videographer/filmmaker to show off your cinematography skills. Good event highlight videos will feature complex movements. It’s also more common to see highlight videos shot on DSLRs instead of more traditional video cameras.

  1. Tap Into a Sound Board

When it comes to sfthooting live events, you will absolutely need to record audio from a soundboard. No matter how good your on-camera mic setup is, it won’t be good enough quality to use. For this reason you’ll need to invest in an external audio recorder. The key is to get an audio recording device that can record signal from an XLR or 1/4” audio output and run on batteries. Something like a Zoom H4N or Tascam DR-40 should do the trick.

In addition to the actual recording device, you’ll need to buy the various accessories that are necessary for recording great audio. Don’t be cheap when it comes to accessories. Cheap cables are often unreliable.


  1. Monitor Your Audio

You will need to have someone monitor the audio during the event to make sure there are no problems. While the audio may sound fine coming out of the main speakers, there’s a chance that the audio engineer might not have given you the best mix into your external recorder. As such, it’s vital that you monitor your audio for peaking, distortion, and bad audio.

  1. Go Multi-camera

If you’re recording a live event, you have to use more than one camera. A multi-camera setup will make your entire video more engaging and make it seem much more professional. Moreover, you’ll be covered in case one of your cameras goes out.


Every event you shoot should have at least one master camera that will remain virtually stationary the entire time, just in case something happens to one of your other cameras. It’s usually best to let the person manning the master camera be the same person monitoring the audio feed.

  1. No Handheld Footage

Because of the extreme distances between you and the subject, handheld footage is a bad idea when shooting live events. Instead, try using either a stationary tripod or a shoulder rig to help keep your footage steady.


Your decision to record with either a tripod, shoulder rig, or slider is entirely dependent on the style in which you will be shooting the event. If the event is more formal (plays, lectures, conferences) you will probably want to go tripod. If it’s more casual (concerts, award ceremonies) you might want to have a shoulder rig.

  1. Don’t Ever Stop Recording


Assuming you have your master camera on a tripod in the back of the auditorium, you will probably be manning a secondary camera that is more mobile. Whatever you do DO NOT stop recording during the event. If you stop recording, you are going to have a syncing nightmare when you sit down in post. Sure software like PluralEyes may make syncing easier, but it’s still unnecessary if you simply keep recording.

 Try to Use “Real” Video Cameras


DSLRs may be good options for some controlled events like weddings, but if you’re going to be shooting a live stage event, you should consider using a professional video camera. This is mostly due to their flexibility when it comes to focal length and their ability to record long durations without stopping.

If you simply must shoot on a DSLR, do your research. Some modern DSLRs will stop recording after a certain duration which can have disastrous consequences. DSLRs are also pretty difficult to keep steady while zooming, focusing, and tracking a subject.

MCD401 Camera basics, principles and practices Assignment 1 Solution Spring 2019.



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